DCCA receives 40th anniversary honors


Darke County Center for the Arts completed its sparkling 40th anniversary season in a blaze of glory, receiving glittering accolades from officials and dignitaries around the state.

During DCCA’s annual Appreciation Luncheon honoring the sponsors and Producer and Angel level members whose donations make DCCA’s programs possible, the organization itself was honored with a plethora of congratulatory messages and best wishes eloquently honoring DCCA’s long-standing commitment to serve their community by promoting and presenting the arts.

Commendation from the Ohio Arts Council was presented by Darke County’s own Darryl Mehaffie, who serves on the board of the highly-regarded agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences throughout the state.

Recognizing the vision of DCCA’s original founders, OAC praised DCCA’s 40 years of service as an amazing legacy of five motivated pioneers who were determined to bring arts to the people. Recognition for exemplary service also came from Ohio’s Governor and Lieutenant Governor; the message from Mike Dewine and Jon Husted cited DCCA’s commitment and dedication to making a positive difference by helping our community and our state become better places to live, work, and raise a family.

Congratulations were sent by Ohio’s two United States Senators, Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman. Senator Brown praised DCCA’s commitment to preservation of historic Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall as well as its presentation of programs which amplify diverse voices, enriching and inspiring lives across the region, while Senator Portman applauded the dedication of all involved in successfully achieving forty years of positive impact on Ohio families and the community at large.The importance of the arts to economic development was cited by U.S. Congressman Warren Davidson, who pointed out that quality of life is a key criteria for businesses choosing new sites in which to settle, and that DCCA is a critical asset to Darke County’s portfolio of amenities.

A Senatorial Citation was presented on behalf of Ohio State Senators Matt Huffman and Stephen A. Huffman, who counted the preservation of beautiful St. Clair Memorial Hall as a fitting symbol of the passion for the arts shared by DCCA’s founders, and praised the organization’s unshakable dedication to building well-rounded citizens by offering opportunity for appreciation of the beauty that surrounds us. State Representatives Susan Manchester and Jena Powell recognized DCCA’s auspicious milestone in a tribute lauding the organization’s perpetuation and advancement of our nation’s heritage through artistic presentations.

Official recognition for providing excellent live performances to residents of all ages in Darke County for the past 40 years was presented to DCCA by Greenville Mayor Steve Willman. A certificate of recognition and appreciation from Greenville City Council named individuals who had served as DCCA staff through the years, including Jean Louise Thieme, who served as DCCA’s first Executive Director, plus Julie Graber, Roberta and David Feltman, Hattie Chaney, Marilyn Delk, and Julie Strait, who later served in that capacity, as well as current Executive Director Andrea Jordan and Artistic Director Keith Rawlins. John Winters, Clara Elliott, Hance and Hester Hildebrand, Mary Frances Shultz, Bill and Martha Benkert, Ted Finnarn, Jim and Elaine Longfellow, Ralph and Donna Plessinger, Patricia Haines, Jim and Enid Goubeaux, and Darryl Mehaffie, recipients of the William L. Combs Patron of the Arts award recognizing those individuals providing exceptional contributions to cultural enrichment in our community, were also cited.

A proclamation from Darke County Commissioners Matthew Aultman, Michael Stegall, and Michael Rhoades lauded DCCA as a valuable part of our community that has adapted and changed to remain integral to the county’s well-being for 40 years, and commended the organization for contributing to citizens’ growth through the arts. Accolades for DCCA’s achievements on the occasion of its Ruby Anniversary sum up accomplishments of which the organization can be rightly proud; may DCCA shine on for years to come!


By Marilyn Delk

Darke County Center for the Arts

Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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